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AECOM leader takes on cycling challenge for climate action

AECOM leader takes on cycling challenge for climate action

 October 26, 2021

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Claire Bonham-Carter is a Director of Sustainable Development at AECOM. Claire manages AECOM's Center of Excellence for Sustainability and Resilience for the Buildings + Places business line, and is a specialist in climate mitigation and adaptation planning with more than 18 years of experience for public-and private-sector clients. 

Inspired by teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who set sail in 2019 for New York from Plymouth, UK, in a racing yacht so that her journey to attend a climate change summit was carbon neutral, Claire is cycling 475 miles to Glasgow from London for the COP26 conference. Accompanied by her nephew, AECOM colleagues and around 130 other riders, Claire is cycling approximately 70 miles (110 kilometers) per day for seven days as part of #RidetheChange, an event designed to build climate action awareness.

Influencing decision makers to make climate commitments 

"Primarily, we want to influence decision makers to be bolder in making climate commitments in Glasgow, but also to inspire others to take action to reduce their own carbon footprint," says Claire.

Raising support through climate action pledges 

AECOM sustainability

"Instead of asking people to sponsor us with money, all riders have a DONATION pledge page to raise support through climate action pledges. These include commitments to eat less meat, to switch to a green energy supplier, turn off the lights, ditch disposable cups, make meals with friends and use the dishwasher at night. We ask supporters to make changes to their lifestyle for two months, with the hope of creating lasting sustainable habits.  The most important part of this is to stimulate more conversation and understanding around the need for urgent climate action and to make political leaders aware that they will not remain in power if they do nothing," explains Claire.


Read more about Claire's impressive efforts here.

Working in sustainability at AECOM

Through her career at AECOM, Claire is continually inspired to make climate action a part of her day-to-day life. For example, she works with community youth as part of AECOM’s consulting projects to ensure long term engagement and implementation. As part of a recent sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation project in the San Francisco Bay Area, Claire and her team worked with a local community-based organization to run a three-week training course on climate change for cohorts of youth, African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders so that the training could be culturally and linguistically specific.

"Many of the youth hadn’t visited the Bayshore and were excited to understand the relationship between sea level and ground water rise, and the flooding of their streets during high tides. Their passion for ecological solutions to this flooding was inspiring," explains Claire.

Encouraging women to go green

Previously, Claire also made a short film some years ago encouraging women to cycle - but in whatever outfit they need at their destination. Watch it here!

Support climate action via a career at AECOM

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